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Support for female farmers overseas

Support for female farmers overseas

PepsiCo and USAID launched a $20 million partnership to support women in ag

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A global food and beverage company and the U.S. federal government are working together to support female farmers.

PepsiCo and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will invest $20 million over the next five years through the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) to assist female producers and rural communities in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, the food company announced on Sept. 9.

"At USAID, we believe that investing in women is key to advancing a country along its journey to self-reliance. The full economic inclusion of half the world's population ultimately will contribute to greater peace and prosperity for all,” John Barsa, acting administrator of USAID, said in a statement.

President Trump launched the W-GDP in February 2019 to “enhance opportunities for women to participate meaningfully in the economy and advance both prosperity and national security,” the W-GDP’s website says.

PepsiCo and USAID will each invest $5 million to jumpstart the program.

PepsiCo will use findings from this initiative to further its Sustainable Farming Program, which supports the farmers from whom the company sources its crops.

Giving female producers in developing countries the same resources and opportunities as their male counterparts can have significant global benefits.

Equality among men and women in ag can bring millions of people out of poverty, a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found.

“Just giving women the same access as men to agricultural resources could increase production on women's farms in developing countries by 20 to 30 percent,” The State of Food and Agriculture report said in March 2011.

“This could raise total agricultural production in developing countries by 2.5 to 4 percent which could, in turn, reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17 percent, or 100 to 150 million people.” has reached out to industry groups for comment.

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